WEST HARTFORD — Time for the SCC and perhaps even the Southington Blue Knights to take notice. Cheshire stands at 3-0 after thumping Conard 34-7 in a Connecticut High School Football Alliance matchup Friday night at McKee Stadium.
Five rushing touchdowns fueled the attack and, on defense, the Rams extended a scoreless streak to seven quarters before allowing a Conard TD early in the fourth.
Jeff Gonzalez had two scoring runs. Michael Simeone, Charles Kurtz and Matt Jeffery had one apiece, with Jeffery’s 51-yarder being the exclamation point in the fourth quarter.
Initially stymied on their first foray into the red zone, the Rams broke through with 2:37 left in the first quarter on a 4-yarder by Simeone.
With 2:34 left in the second quarter, CHS pushed the lead to 14-0 on a 24-yard run by Gonzalez. It was highlight-reel stuff. Gonzalez broke a tackle and reversed field.
Cheshire struck again before the half. The defense pitched a 3-and-out, Adam Vernon returned the subsequent punt to the Conard 3 and Kurtz took it the rest of the way.
At the break, the Rams were up 21-0 and the Red Tide surged into the second half. Less than three minutes in, Gonzalez went straight A-gap from five yards out for his second TD and a 28-0 lead.
Conard (1-2) ended the Cheshire defensive string of scoreless quarters early in the fourth when Brendan Grady hauled in an 11-yard touchdown catch.
The Rams, though, answered right back when QB Matt Jeffery broke free for a 51-yard touchdown run.
Southington 2, Conard 2: How’s this for a finish? Down 2-1 and with no time on the clock at the end of regulation, the host Blue Knights earned a point by scoring on a penalty corner.
Elyse Picard had the equalizer for the Blue Knights. Nikki DePodesta also scored for Southington.
In a back-and-forth overtime, goalies Morgan Lasek of Southington and Lily Grose of Conard made the tie stick. Both keepers had eight saves on the day.
Southington now stands at 3-0-1-1. Conard is 2-1-1-1.
Wilcox Tech 6, Grasso Tech 1: Held to three goals in their last three games, the Wildcats erupted for a 6-spot in this CTC matchup in Meriden.
Angel Gavilanes led the way with a hat trick. His twin brother, Aric Gavilanes, scored two goals. Joey Schwall added one.
Schwall and the Gavilanes brothers also had assists. Alex Ruiz and Will Vega also set up goals.
Wilcox now stands at 2-4. Grasso is 0-3-1.
Bristol Eastern 5, Platt 0: Though the final score might dictate otherwise, Platt goalie Gabe Dushi had a strong game in net, collecting 14 saves in a CCC South affair in Bristol.
Eddie Anash had two goals for Eastern, now 2-3. Platt is 1-4.
Glastonbury 3, Southington 1: The Guardians had the win, while Southington’s Noah Panarella had the highlight-reel goal in this CCC West battle at Fontana Field.
Before Glastonbury got on the board, Panarella staked Southington to a 1-0 advantage. He juggled a ball over his defender’s head, spun around his man and drilled a volley into the upper right corner.
“One of the best goals I’ve ever seen in person,” remarked Southington coach Austin Magaro. “Hands down, goal of the season across the state. Just wish it was the winner.”
It was the first goal unbeaten Glastonbury (5-0) had given up all season.
The Guardians answered with three goals, with the game-winner coming with 12 minutes to play and the insurance with just under three to go as Southington pushed upfield in a bid to net the equalizer.
“We fought hard, and played some of our best soccer as a team, but unfortunately we couldn’t hang on,” said Magaro. “The boys gave it their all, and I’m proud of the effort and the fight.”
Southington keeper Brian Ludden made nine saves on 12 shots. The Blue Knights are 2-3 heading into Saturday’s CCC-FCIAC Challenge game with Danbury at the Farmington Sports Arena.
Wilcox Tech 6, Innovation 0: Katherine Arichavala scored three goals and set up a fourth, whie Ellie Lopez scored twice and dished three assists in the latest victory for the 5-1 Wildcats, a CTC decision in New Britain.
Angela Zandri added one goal and one assist.
Play flowed through Azayla Yearwood and Jedualiz Quintanain the midfield.
Illiana Rivera, Kiara Trellas, Christina Betun and Zulal Kangal played tough in defense in front of goal keeper Joyce Vecchitto, who made five saves.
Wilcox Tech 3, Platt Tech 0: The Wildcats (1-3) earned their first win with the CTC sweep of the Panthers (0-7) in Meriden behind the setting of Amarra Cruz and the swings of Reina Marroquin and Marielissa Ortiz.
Game scores were 25-12, 25-15 and 25-17.
Cheshire 3, Sheehan 0: The Rams followed up on their non-conference victory at Fairfield Warde with a 25-11, 25-14, 25-18 SCC sweep of the Titans in Wallingford.
Cheshire improved to 5-1. Sheehan fell to 3-5.
With Mary Nugent dishing 10 assists, the Rams got widespread offense from the likes of Avery Mola (9 kills), Eva Catalanotto (6) and Caitlin Fanning (3).
Mola and Catalanotto also planted four aces apiece. Nugent had two.
Glastonbury 3, Southington 2: The Tomahawks pulled out a five-set CCC West marathon with the Blue Knights in Glastonbury by taking the rally game 18-16.
It was the end of a night that saw Southington twice battle back from one-game deficits. The Blue Knights answered Glastonbury’s 25-20 in Game 1 with a 25-23 verdict in Game 2, then rebounded from Glastonbury’s 25-23 victory in Game 3 by a count of 25-22 in the fourth.
If Southington setter Haley Weiner seems a little tired on Saturday, there’s a reason. She dished 58 assists on Friday night.
Gabrielle Ferreira recorded a double-double with 17 digs and 14 kills, while Cami Wessels had a team-high 18 kills and seven aces.
Alyssa Ferreira added 12 kills. Makenzie Marek marshalled the defense with 15 digs.
Glastonbury is now 5-2 and Southington is 4-2.